Community Mobility: Getting Where You Want to Go
June 14, 2011 at the University of Washington Medical Center.
Learn about the different accessible transportation options available for people with disabilities in the greater Seattle metropolitan area, including buses, light rail, Access, DART and Bus Rapid Transit. Jodi Connolly, MA, CTRS/R of Harborview’s “Getting There” Transportation Resource Center and Amanda Bryant of First Transit discuss these services as well as additional programs that can help you learn how to use the transportation system, plan your trips, and feel comfortable traveling around the community independently. Helpful resources, travel tips and information about volunteer transportation and wheelchair accessible taxis are also provided.
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Report: Community Mobility: Getting Where You Want to Go
- "Getting There" Transportation Resource Center
- Plan for success
- Transportation options in King County
- Programs to reduce cost
- Tools to help you get started
- Transit Instruction
- Resources and handouts for this forum
By Jodi Connolly, MA, CTRS/R of Harborview’s “Getting There” Transportation Resource Center
(206-744-8747; 4EC Room 2, Harborview Medical Center (9th and Alder Entrance).
The "Getting There" Transportation Resource Center, located at Harborview Medical Center, is for people who have a disability and want to use public transit. It includes an assessment center for people with disabilities, transit evaluation stations, and a mock-up of a Metro bus with a ramp. My primary role there is to help King County residents with disabilities connect with transportation that's appropriate for them in the community.
Before heading out into the community, individuals with SCI should be sure to consider these issues:
- Medications: make sure you have enough with you in case you don’t get home until later than expected. If you have trouble with autonomic dysreflexia, make sure you have medications for that on hand, as well as an information card so others know what to do.
- Hydration—have enough water and have it handy.
- Bowel and bladder plan—is there a certain time of day that is best to travel so you aren’t likely to have accidents? What supplies should you keep on hand?
- ID/medical information—keep emergency information and contacts with you.
- Skin integrity and tilts/pressure reliefs/releases—these may not be possible or safe while in a vehicle, so plan to perform them before getting on or after getting off.
- Assistance Animal—make sure you have what you need for your service animal.
- Knowing your chair—have a plan for if you get a flat in your wheelchair or have some other equipment problem.
- “Up time”—planning outings that match your energy level and activity tolerance.
- Blood pressure issues (high or low). Autonomic dysreflexia management/instructions.
- When to go alone when to go with someone
- IN AN EMERGENCY, TRANSIT OPERATORS (DRIVERS) CALL 911
- Regular fixed route buses
- Lift or ramp equipped.
- 2 securement areas (forward facing).
- 4-point securement.
- Lift indicator strip or button when getting off.
- Varied surfaces at stops – not all are able to receive a lift.
- Drivers can ask passengers near the front to move but they cannot make them.
- Pay with a pass or cash.
- Weight and size limitations: 30 inches wide, 52 inches long, and under 600 pounds.
- Visit http://metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/bus/how-to-ride/.
- Metro’s Dial-A-Ride Transit (DART)
- Available to everyone.
- Supplements the Metro bus routes in some areas.
- Allows you to arrange for transit service closer to a location.
- Uses vans that can go off regular routes to pick up and drop off passengers within a defined service area, DART service may DART does not go door-to-door.
- It operates on a fixed schedule, but one that has more flexibility than regular Metro Transit buses.
- When you call for a reservation, be prepared with the locations of where you want to start and where you want to go. The reservationist will determine if you are in the service area of a DART route and will tell you when and where to meet the van.
- The pick-up or drop-off point does not need to be a regular bus stop, and it may not be right at your desired location. You are asked to be at the designated location at the given pick-up time.
- Call ahead to schedule 1-866-261-DART.
- NOT door to door.
- Visit http://metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/bus/dart/dartinfo.html.
- Bus Rapid Transit—(Metro Rapid Ride, Community Transit “Swift”)
- A new, growing network of fast bus routes designed for heavily used transit corridors.
- More like a train.
- Available to everyone.
- Moves more people more quickly.
- Uses signal controls, bus only lanes, curb bulbs.
- 3 doors (lift entry at the front.)
- Pay before boarding or at front.
- No schedule – next bus posted at some stops.
- Same cost as regular bus.
- Now at Federal Way to Seatac – A line (connects to light rail). Going to Redmond/Bellevue next – B line.
- B line will have “passive restraint” (rear facing, securement by driver optional)
- Visit http://metro.kingcounty.gov/travel-options/bus/rapidride/.
- Metro Access (ADA Paratransit system)
- For those whose disability prevents use of a regular bus some or all of the time.
- Runs the same hours and same areas as the Metro buses.
- -Call 206-263-3113 for pre-application.
- -Evaluation at “Getting there” Transportation Resource Center, Harborview Medical Center (If referred for evaluation)
- -If you are denied, you can appeal.
- -Need to re-apply every 3 years.
- $1.25 each way; $2.50 round trip. Cash only. Drivers do not carry change.
- Shared ride.
- Approved Personal Care Attendant (PCA) rides free.
- For any transportation needs, not just medical appointments.
- NOT “same day” transportation.
- NOT always the fastest or best option.
- NOT able to change route.
- Visit http://metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/accessible/paratransit.html.
- Taxi (wheelchair accessible
- Height limit: 56 inches.
- Started as a pilot project by King County to provide cabs with wheelchair accessibility. Now is permanent and growing.
- Top 10% of applicants selected for the lottery (free license for city/county after 5 years).
- Drivers receive special training, random drug testing.
- Cab drivers are independent contractors and make their own schedules.
- Response time varies but has goals to improve to 20 min.
- Accept Taxi Scrip.
- Yellow cab 206-622-6500
- Farwest 206-622-1717
- Green Cab 206-575-4040
- STITA (airport only) 206-246-9980
- South Lake Union Streetcar
- Connects downtown Seattle to South Lake Union.
- Call 206-553-3000 or visit http://www.seattlestreetcar.org/.
- Link Light Rail
- Light rail transit system serving the Seattle metropolitan area operated by Sound Transit, a transit agency formed by King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties
- Visit http://www.soundtransit.org/Rider-Guide/Link-light-rail.xml.
- Senior Shuttle (HYDE Shuttle)
- Neighborhood shuttle system run by Senior Services of King County.
- Available Monday through Friday 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM only.
- Free. Donations accepted.
-People 55 and over.
- -Adults with a disability.
- No application required. Sign up on the phone, 206-727-6262.
- Available in Federal Way, Renton, Seatac/Tukwila, Burien/Highline, Des Moines/Normandy Park, Shoreline/Lake Forest Park, SnoqualmieValley, East Central Seattle, Northeast Seattle, Northwest Seattle, Southwest Seattle, Southeast Seattle, West Central Seattle.
- Visit http://www.seniorservices.org/transportation/Home.aspx.
- Senior Volunteer Transportation
- For medical appointments only.
- Free. Donations accepted.
- You must be able to get in and out of a car independently.
- Volunteer drivers, using their own vehicles.
- Call 206-282-5815 or visit http://www.seniorservices.org/transportation/Home.asp
- Transportation broker for individuals who have DSHS/Medicaid/MAID/Medical Coupon insurance.
- Only for qualifying medical appointments paid for by DSHS.
- Transportation method varies by circumstances—it may be gas vouchers or bus passes.
- Call 800-923-7433 or visit http://www.hope-link.org/.
- Contact your church, medical center, senior center or cultural center to find out if they offer any transportation assistance programs
- Regional Reduced Fare Permit (RRFP): geared toward seniors or adults with disabilities below a certain income bracket. It has a higher income ceiling than Medicaid, so even if you think you're not eligible, it might be worth looking into.
- Taxi Scrip—half-price taxi program in King County; you need to already have the Regional Reduced Fare Permit to be eligible.
- FREE options:
- Hyde Shuttle
- Kent Shopper Shuttle
- West Seattle Water Taxi Shuttle
- Senior Volunteer Transportation
- Group Health (same as Senior Volunteer Transportation)
- Route 99 – “streetcar” in downtown Seattle.
- Outing Checklist –suggestions of things to have with you before setting off. http://sci.washington.edu/info/forums/reports/MEDICAL%20PREPAREDNESS.pdf
- Special assistance cards. For individuals with communication disabilities, or who just have problems with their voice carrying, route information, destination and any other instructions can be written on these cards and handed to the drivers. Metro drivers are trained to identify these cards. You can get these cards at Metro Accessible Services (206) 263-3113 or “Getting There” Transportation Resource Center (206) 744 8747.
- Access and Hopelink planning forms. These forms help you think through what you want to ask when you call to set up transportation.
- High visibility items. Anytime you are around traffic, getting on or off vehicles, crossing streets, going to and from bus stops, make yourself visible and use predictable movements so you increase the chances of being seen by drivers. Reflective tape, bright colors, and lights are all a great idea. Do your best to be seen to keep yourself safer.
- Download information materials produced by the "Getting There" Transportation Resource Center: http://sci.washington.edu/info/forums/reports/transportation_2011.asp#info.
By Amanda Bryant of First Transit (206-749-4242; firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Metro Transit Instruction Program is a free program funded by King County that provides one-on-one individualized bus training for seniors (over 65) and anyone with a disability. There are several different kinds of training:
Individual destination instruction (for a specific route)
- One-on-one training to/from a specific origin and destination (at least one end of the trip must be in King County).
- Needs to be a trip that you make at least one or more times a week.
- Call the center for a phone screening to determine your needs and place you with an instructor.
- Instructor conducts route planning and goes into the field to find the best route for your needs, checking for curb cuts, uneven terrain, street crossings, transfers, etc.
- Instructor meets with you for 30-45 for an “assessment meeting” to discuss route options and determine your preferred route. The instructor may create an appropriate support tool if necessary, such as large print route information or a card with your trip information to hand to a transit driver.
- Instructor travels with you on your selected route, starting from your origin (such as home) at the same time of day that you would normally be traveling. Then they will meet you when you are ready to make the return trip (whether it’s 15 minutes later or 8 hours). Instructor will accompany you as often as necessary, gradually letting you be more and more independent until you are comfortable making the trip on your own.
- Instructors emphasize safety, and also help you plan for possibilities such as getting lost, missing a connection, dealing with strangers, interacting with drivers, etc.
Transit System Instruction
- One-on-one training to learn overall use of the entire bus system using the Rider Information Office, bus schedules, On-line Trip Planner, etc., and plan your own accessible trips.
- Instructors work with you on your own computer or whatever computer you use.
- You will learn about schedule changes and rider alerts, and how to use customer service, even practicing making phone calls.
Group Transit Instruction (groups of five or more)
- A classroom style training which is designed to be an introduction to using the bus/rail systems.
- Each classroom presentation is followed by a field trip to reinforce what was discussed in the classroom.
- Also available to non-English speaking groups.
Lift or Ramp Instruction
- One-on-one training to learn how to board Metro and Sound Transit buses with a mobility aid
- Training is conducted on an out-of-service bus so that the individual has the opportunity to practice using the lift/ramp numerous times.
- We provide transportation to and from the location where the bus is parked for this training.
- Presentation to local community agencies/organizations to introduce Transit Instruction to the staff and/or family members who support potential trainees.
To Request Training
- Amanda Bryant, 206-749-4242; Amanda.Bryant@FirstGroup.com
- "Transportation: Getting Where You Want To Go" PowerPoint presentation by Jodi Connolly, TR, Harborview Medical Center.
- "Transit Instruction Overview" PowerPoint presentation by Amanda Bryant, First Transit.
- Transportation Providers and their accessibility information
- Programs to reduce cost
- Instruction/training for using public transportation
- Other transportation related tools
- Information materials produced by the "Getting There" Transportation Resource Center
- King County Metro regular bus service accessibility information:
- Central Link Light Rail accessibility information:
- Washington State Ferries accessibility information - includes information about each vessel:
- Sound Transit Bus, train, light rail accessibility information:
- Metro's Dial-a-ride Transit (DART):
- Senior Services Hyde Shuttles (neighborhood free lift-equipped shuttles):
- Senior Services - Senior Volunteer Transportation (must be 60 or over and able to transfer into a car independently, volunteers can transport walkers but not wheelchairs). Specifically for medical appointments:
- Amtrak Accessibility information:
- Quick links to all local transit agencies (Sound Transit, Link Light Rail, Sounder Commuter Rail, Washington State Ferries, Community Transit, Everett Transit, Pierce Transit, Kitsap Transit):
- Metro Rapid Ride (Bus Rapid Transit):
- Community Transit Swift (Bus Rapid Transit):
- Hopelink – Medicaid Transportation:
- Accessible Taxi Pilot Program info:
- Taxi Services with wheelchair accessible vehicles (be sure to request “wheelchair accessible/ramped vehicle”):
- Regional Reduced Fare Permit (with downloadable application):
- Metro Taxi Scrip (half price taxi fare for holders of an RRFP who are also lower income)
- Transit Instruction: http://metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/accessible/access-ctp.html#enhanced
- Transit Instruction if you have a vision impairment:
- King County Mobility Coalition - includes maps and contacts for local accessible transit services:
- Downtown Seattle Accessible Map:
- Metro Commuter Checklist - emergency preparedness:
- Metro Accessible Services (with links to ADA Paratransit Program (Access), Accessible Downtown Seattle Map, Regional Reduced Fare Permit, regular bus service, Taxi Scrip, and more):
- Getting to Know Access
- Using a Wheelchair or Scooter Riding the Bus
- Using a Wheelchair or Scooter in an Elevator
- Using a Wheelchair or Scooter Going Up and Down Curb Cuts
- Using a Walker or Cane Riding the Bus
- Using a Walker or Cane Walking Up and Down Curbs and Curb Cuts
- Walking Up and Down Stairs
- Using Power Wheelchairs and Scooters: An Outing Checklist
- Pedestrian Safety
- Using a Manual Wheelchair: Uneven Ground and Ramps
- Outing Checklist